Subject: Re: Graphical Sysinst in 2.0
To: Jaka Jejcic <>
From: Bill Studenmund <>
List: current-users
Date: 09/03/2004 17:43:41
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On Wed, Aug 25, 2004 at 08:37:12AM +0200, Jaka Jejcic wrote:
> > > That is was the Point !=20
> > > It's clear that NetBSD need no fancyness, but if installing NetBSD is=
> > > or look easier through a GUI we can win more users !
> > > More users means more energy, new knowledge and new ideas.
> > >=20
> > > Regards, Zafer.
> >=20
> > I'm inclined to say "too bad for them, if they're not smart enough to u=
> > something that isn't point and click."
> >=20
> > Maybe that's insensitive. But even so, that's how I feel about NetBSD h=
> > a GUI installer.
> I completely agree to the point. We don't need more users of "that" kind.

How elitist of you.

How exactly do you know what kind of users "that" kind represents?

> More developers - perhaps (but even that not too much), more users who
> only demand (and demand guis and integration of third party applications
> into basic os and unneccessary automatization) ... I don't think so.

You sure have extrapolated quite a lot about the future post-GUI-=20

To be perfectly honest, the larget rant of people demanding this or that
I've seen of late is this very thread, where users are demanding that
NetBSD NOT have a graphical installer. I've seen by far most of this
thread be carried on by folks who aren't NetBSD developers. So if demands
from users who aren't developers is a problem, where does that leave the=20
folks in this thread? :-)

> If we want to keep NetBSD efficient and unbloaded and hence remain to=20
> produce an all round os (not just a fancy show-off os that runs on most m=
> pc-s with keyboard and display attached)  we must struggle to keep it as =
> as possible. And in no situation we can allow ourselves to do something=
> for the newbies just to make their life easier. That is not our goal. We=

Since when? Since when has it been the goal of the NetBSD project NOT to=20
do something "just to make [a user's] life easier"? That's NEVER been a=20
goal of this project.

I agree that the project has not had, "making the life of an
inexperienced, new user trivial," an at-any-cost goal. Nor should it.
However we have had making life easier for our users a goal. It's not one
of the stated canonical ones, but it's there. It's one of the things we
balance. If a change does nothing but make life easier for newbies (it has
no other tradeoffs), then we will in fact do it. If it has tradeoffs,
we'll look at them & decide.

> make power-user friendly os and that means no assumptions. The users will
> decide what they need and install those things if they wish, but noone
> should decide for them or even assume they want to choose between some
> "common" options. The mere assumption that the installing hardware can run
> gui is wrong. Only in situations where "all" the hardware includes certain

Where exactly has the assumption that all "the installing hardware can run=
[a] gui" been made? I've not heard that stipulated.

Also, you mention NetBSD making a "power-user friendly os." I agree.=20
However I've found a great way to do that is to actually simplify things=20
when a user wants them simple. So making life simple for "newbies" often=20
is good all-around.

For instance, we now have, a helper tool (shell script) to build
our OS. This tool has helped newbies alot in building NetBSD. It however
has also helped power users do the same. I love it, and am now much more=20
likely to build a release from scratch, since building a release is much=20

And finally, one assumption that many folks in this thread seem to be
making is that if someone is "not a power user" at installing NetBSD, that
he or she isn't a sharp user. I know of a number of sharp users, both
developers and power users, that do not necessarily know how to install
NetBSD. Making life easier for them (be it via a graphical installer if
that works for them, or in other ways) strikes me as a good thing. Also,
put another way, I've seen an assupmtion that users are either "newbies" =
or they aren't; that it's a binary attribute. I think NetBSD has gotten
big enough (with package source and a number of other things we have going
on) that it is no longer so. Someone can be a super-power-user (or extreme
authority) with respect to one topic, but an abject newbie with respect to
others. I have done lots of work with file systems, and know my way around
the kernel quite well. However I'm not at all familiar with KDE or gnome,
other than that I can install them via pkgsrc. Like a newbie. The fact
that things like pkgsrc make installing software easy means I can focus my
efforts on kernel-related things.

So since we can all be "newbies" with respect to some things, I think we=20
will be better served to do things to make life easier for "newbies," if=20
it otherwise makes sense.

Take care,


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